The Murder of James Leslie Starkey near Lachish

Yosef Garfinkel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


On 10 January 1938, the British archaeologist James Leslie Starkey was murdered on his way from Lachish to Jerusalem. From that time onwards, the murder has been presented as just one more of the insurgency episodes that were so common in those days. There was, however, a conflict at Lachish with the local landowners regarding the excavation of the site's summit, the expedition's preferred area. An amicable resolution of this conflict was never reached between the two sides, and only legal expropriation of this land by the Mandatory Government of Palestine enabled the excavation of the upper part of the site. The landowners never received full compensation for the expropriated land, undoubtedly a strong motive for revenge.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)84-109
Number of pages26
JournalPalestine Exploration Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © Palestine Exploration Fund 2016.


  • James Leslie Starkey
  • Lachish
  • Olga Tufnell
  • Tell ed-Duweir


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